Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How to manipulate public opinion: William Rusher shows how Democrats have smeared President Bush ^ | Thursday, October 9, 2003 | William Rusher

Posted on 10/09/2003 4:07:11 AM PDT by JohnHuang2

As most people know, the objective of the political opposition in a democracy is to attack the political leader by raising "issues" that gradually chip away at his image until he is reduced to bite-sized bits suitable to be fed to fishes.

The Democrats were making slow but reasonable progress at deconstructing George Bush in this way until Sept. 11 came along and rendered him – as a strong war leader – practically unassailable. Now, however, in the aftermath of the Iraq war, the failure (thus far) to find weapons of mass destruction has opened up a new and fruitful line of attack. The opening salvo was fired by congressional Democratic leaders, who demanded to know "whether George Bush lied to us" by asserting the existence of such weapons as a principal reason for war. Note that protective word "whether."

The liberal media promptly piled on – adding, for good measure, the anonymous comments of former Clinton administration officials and cashiered CIA agents, all attractively billed as "experts" on the subject. The word "whether" somehow got lost in this process, and all that remained in the public memory were the three words "George Bush lied." In due course, pollsters began reporting that the percentage of people who suspected George Bush of lying had increased significantly, and this itself became a story generating gratifying headlines.

Never mind that President Clinton himself had said, on Feb. 17, 1998, "One way or another, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction." Or that Sandy Berger, his national security adviser, had added the next day, Saddam "will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983." Were they deceiving the American people too? Nobody thought to ask.

That was the state of play as the moment approached when David Kay, the universally respected former arms inspector whom President Bush had assigned to find out the truth about the weapons of mass destruction, was to issue a preliminary report. Obviously, what Kay said was going to be enormously important to the success of the Democrats' "George Bush lied" campaign. Bush's opposition solved the problem brilliantly.

What they did was obtain a leaked copy of the Kay report about a week in advance of its issuance, and announce that it reported finding "no weapons of mass destruction." This version was repeated daily until the report was actually issued, and it seemed to reinforce the perception that "George Bush lied."

Now, what poor Kay actually reported (and tried valiantly to restate when his report finally came out) was considerably more nuanced. To quote the New York Times, long after the damage had been done by the false characterizations, "The burden of Mr. Kay's report is that while searchers have not found any weapons of mass destruction so far, they have found evidence that Iraq still intended to build them and had retained equipment and personnel that could be used to do it."

Quite a difference! But the Democratic politicians were ready with their fallback position: The Kay report demonstrated that "Saddam Hussein represented no imminent threat to the United States that would justify war." The weasel word in that sentence is "imminent." The Bush administration had never said that Saddam represented an "imminent" threat. On the contrary, Bush and his advisers had quite explicitly argued that we dared not wait until the threat was "imminent" – that, when dealing with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, that would be too late. Hence the need to attack sooner.

But such subtleties were predictably lost on many people. For all practical purposes, the Democratic attempt to show that "George Bush lied" has been a brilliant success, as such things go. Polls suggest that most Americans still don't believe it, but they also show a distinct upsurge in the number of people who do. You can't ask more of a smear than that.

TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush43; smearcampaign; williamrusher
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Quote of the Day by Az Joe

1 posted on 10/09/2003 4:07:11 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All
There's A Better Way To Beat The Media Clymers (And You Don't Have To Skate)!

Donate Here By Secure Server

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at

It is in the breaking news sidebar!

2 posted on 10/09/2003 4:08:40 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JohnHuang2
But...but...but... the media isn't it?
3 posted on 10/09/2003 4:35:18 AM PDT by mathluv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JohnHuang2
The opening salvo was fired by congressional Democratic leaders, who demanded to know "whether George Bush lied to us" by asserting the existence of such weapons as a principal reason for war. Note that protective word "whether."

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

As Lyndon Johnson once said, I don't have to prove it, I just want to hear him deny it.

4 posted on 10/09/2003 4:48:15 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JohnHuang2
What serves the left best is the fact that people, Americans who are used to lives of comfort if not ease by the standards of any other country in the world, do not want to believe in the kind of threat "WMD" implies.

I hear it increasingly from Republicans, not necessarily principled conservatives but those who vote for "a better economy" or just "my job".

The war is over, horay, bring the troops home. Someone was blown up in Bagdad, boo-hiss, bring the troops home. There has not been an attack on New York for two years, Bush lied.

An 'imminent threat' IS significant to most Americans. It matters not that our president did not use that term or argument when addressing the nation: the thought of a botulism attack or a suitcase nuke in the harbor is too much to deal with so it must have been a lie.

Clinton is gone, the great fight has been won, so it must have been George Bush who lied.

Any suggestions on how to get out of that loop would be appreciated.

5 posted on 10/09/2003 6:44:46 AM PDT by norton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JohnHuang2
I think it is amazing that Saddam chose to have inspectors in Iraq and continuing sanctions for no WMD. He could have been totally open with the U.N. inspectors,shown how he destroyed old weapons that he was known to have,and made even Blix look good!

The fairness of France,Germany,and Russia in combination with the U.N. would have been shouted worldwide instead of looking like they didn't want to give up bloated contracts and skim money from the 'food for oil'program. His sons could be raping their way through all the virgins in Iraq and enjoying torture sessions for after dinner treats. Speaking of treats--old girlfriends covered in honey being fed to wild animals--it might bother some of you,but lighten up.

George Bush killed a woman's brother yesterday because the man was out of work and without health care.(Cspan caller this a.m.) And all this after outing a super secret undercover CIA agent,listed as the former Valerie Plame on Middle East Institute's bio of Mr.Wilson among other places,which led to outing her front company because she gave $1,000 to Gore using her maiden name,so that anyone could google and find it,to be vindictive,because a former Clinton NSC employee and Gore and Kerry supporter told the truth about Bush ignoring information from a report Wilson never wrote to several CIA agents he doesn't know that Cheney and Bush were never briefed on. Man, what a lier.

Bush even wants to build schools for Iraq when our own country needs money because the povery rates have skyrocked under his failed presidency where he spent the huge surplus Clinton left us,and all this after taking us to a war cooked up in Texas so U.S. soldiers could die for his political gain even though he lied in his SOUA about yellowcake concerning a war with no justification. George Bush you are a busy man!

Unfortunately,Saddam chose to loose both sons and his kingdom instead of showing he had nothing to hide. (P.S. Two scientists were shot after talking to Kay's inspectors recently for no secrets about WMD! This is just to trick you into thinking they knew something but of course they couldn't have because we have inspected the entire country and 10 of 130 sites to be searched while fighting off Iraqis that hate America's guts even though they lied in a poll and said they were glad Saddam was gone and the U.S.was there. Wake up people--their are lies all around you and George W. Bush,the puppet of Cheney the oil baron,is being led by Karl Rove the lier!)
6 posted on 10/09/2003 7:14:52 AM PDT by Reb Raider
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson